HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Black Bear
Don't Cry, Pretty Girls!
Portal
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
Straight Shooting
Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon
Man They Could Not Hang, The
Final Days
Frightened City, The
Assimilate
Sequin in a Blue Room
Common Crime, A
Into the Labyrinth
Power, The
Wake of Death
Night Orchid
Mortal
Iron Mask, The
Dinosaur
Personal History of David Copperfield, The
Dove, The
Collective
Charulata
Minari
Violation
Defending Your Life
Champagne Murders, The
He Dreams of Giants
Lost in America
Take Back
Honeydew
Banishing, The
Drifters, The
Gushing Prayer
Escape from Coral Cove
Swan Princess, The
   
 
Newest Articles
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
   
 
  Defendor Hero At Large
Year: 2009
Director: Peter Stebbings
Stars: Woody Harrelson, Elias Koteas, Michael Kelly, Sandra Oh, Kat Dennings, Clark Johnson, Lisa Ray, Alan C. Peterson, Kristin Booth, Charlotte Sullivan, Tony Nappo, Ron White, David Henry, Bryan Renfro, Max Dreesen, Matt Gordon, James Preston Rogers
Genre: Comedy, Drama, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Arthur Poppington (Woody Harrelson) has an alter ego. By day he is a humble roadworker, but by night he allows his heroism full flight as he dons a black costume to become Defendor, a superhero who may not have any powers, but makes up for that in his targetting of evil on the streets of the city. Arthur does not have a high I.Q., but he does know the difference between right and wrong, and all those years of reading comic books have given him an idea of what to do about the sickness in society...

But maybe not one of the most effective ideas, as actor Peter Stebbings' directorial debut was less about how great it was to be a superhero, and more about responsibility in your community, and how the most naive members of it are the ones who truly believe they can engender a positive change. Not that Defendor was a deeply cynical movie, as if anything it celebrated those who thought they could make a difference, which was all the stranger for putting those attitudes in the mind of a man who was mentally challenged rather than impossibly brave through his keen intellect and reason.

Ostensibly this was a comedy, but don't go expecting a laugh riot as it turned out if it was meant to be funny, it was very mild humour indeed. The film beat Kick-Ass to the screens, but did not appear to be cashing in on the craze for superheroics in the movies, as for much of this it wasn't especially caught up in the mechanics of the costumed vigilante, whether they had powers or not - and Arthur assuredly did not. More it was ruminating on whether using force against criminals was ever justified, as he sees his actions as such because he is protecting those disadvantaged by the menaces of the evildoers.

For about half of the time this takes the form of flashbacks as Arthur is assessed by a psychiatrist (Sandra Oh) who tries to get to the heart of his limited psyche which understands the best way to improve the city is to take matters into his own hands. In those flashbacks we see Arthur in his costume, which includes such accoutrements as a camera mounted on the helmet and a trench club from World War I for bashing the baddies with, and he makes a nuisance of himself investigating the fictional Captain Industry, his never-seen arch enemy who according to him killed his mother (she actually left him as a child for being unfit to take care of him).

Defendor doesn't get a sidekick exactly, but he does find a friend in teenage prostitute and crackhead Kat (Kat Dennings) who offers him information for money, and leads him up the garden path when she convinces him a local gangster (Alan C. Peterson) is the villain he's searching for. Arthur then starts to spy on him and his underlings, including corrupt cop Elias Koteas, who do not take kindly to this "fly", leaving him a marked man as he is arrested, not for setting wasps on gangsters but for putting Kat's father in a garbage can when she admits to him she was abused by the man. In somewhat hackneyed fashion, the film winds up with Arthur inspiring the cityfolk, illustrating that no matter how far Stebbings tried to distance his work from the traditional elements of the superhero movie, you still had to reckon with the conventions. Oddly muted overall, this wouldn't set the pulse racing, but provided food for thought. Music by John Rowley.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2183 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: